Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Continued Thought Refinement

Here's what's currently being pondered. Keep in mind these changes are not oriented entirely around "what about these new Eldar zomg!?" They are oriented around trying to minimize changes to the game, while enacting changes with a shelf life greater than 1 week (which a change to JUST Eldar would have in the era of constantly changing rules / detachment rules / etc. that we find ourselves in).

0-1 Super Heavy / Gargantuan of any kind (inclusive of iKnights)
Decurion / Guardian Warhost style Detachments, if selected, take up *all* your Detachment Limits
Stomp results of "6" hitting models that are not engaged with the Stomping model are treated as "5"
D results of "6" originating further than 12" away from the affected model(s) are treated as "5"

As an aside, I am beginning to find myself curious - Apocalypse was not a wildly successful selling item for Games Workshop. It was UNIVERSALLY stated that folks "wouldn't want to play it at a tournament or anything, but maybe for a pickup game if done right." Nevertheless, they have slowly pushed the game into being identical to original Apocalypse. When talking about toads (vs. human beings or some other more advanced animals), if you drop them into a boiling pot of water, they will freak out and depart it. If you put them in a lukewarm pot of water, then slowly turn the heat up to boiling, they will quietly perish.

It surprises me, in hearing the outcry for open battle-forged 0-restriction warhammer 40k from some quarters, how many toads are out there in our hobby.

Monday, April 27, 2015

DC Area Road to the NOVA League!

Original post and link: http://www.elphilo.com/2015/04/huzzah-hobbies-road-to-nova-open-2015.html

Pulled from the blog:

Who? All 40k players in the DC Metro area!
What? An 8ish week League
When? May 18th- July 11th
Where? Anywhere! But you’re encouraged to game on Monday and Friday nights at Huzzah Hobbies located at 44927 George Washington Blvd, Suite 165 Ashburn, VA  20147
Why? Because who doesn’t want their chance to win a NOVA Invitational invite, give money to charity AND play their favorite table top game?

More after the break!

Now until May 16th
Game 1
May 18th - June 1st
Crusade – Dawn of War
Game 2
May 25th - June 8th
The Scouring
Game 3
June 1st - June 15th
The Relic – Vanguard

Game 4

June 8th – June 22nd

Points and Regions – Dawn of War

Game 5
June 15th – June 29th
Crusade - Vanguard
July 11th

Buy In - $20. You can sign up at Huzzah Hobbies located at 44927 George Washington Blvd, Suite 165 Ashburn, VA  20147. Or online, please email me for directions elphilo40k at gmail dot com. Signups will be from now until May 16th.

Charity – A portion of the buy in will be given to Wounded Warriorshttp://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/

Rules – We’ll be using NOVA Open Rules, Army Construction, Missions and FAQ. Rules, Army Construction and Missions can be found here: http://www.novaopen.com/wp-content/uploads/2015-40K-GT-Invitational-Draft-Primer.pdf

League Format – While we’ll be using NOVA Open rules for the most part there was one thing that I wanted to change. For your first two games you’re not locked into a list, the only thing you have to choose when signing up is your Faction(s). That’s the only thing you’re locked into for games 1 and 2. At game 3 I will require you to send me a copy of your list so I can make it available to all league participants and from then on you are locked into your list, EVEN FOR THE FINALS!!!!

Brackets – All players will be placed into regional brackets. Hopefully this will cut down on travel time and distance to get your games in.

Information I need from you when signing up – I need your name, email address, a gaming club if you’re in it, your primary and secondary (if you have a secondary) faction(s), and finally the city and state you’re coming from. That way I can make the brackets on region. Just an FYI you will be setting up your games through EMAIL! If you don’t feel comfortable giving out your primary email address please sign up with a secondary one you don’t care about and that you check frequently!

Games – You have 2 weeks to complete your games please see the schedule above for when your two weeks start. If you do not complete them in the 2 week period you will be marked down as a forfeit. As a note you are able to complete your games earlier if your opponent is up for it. For example its week 2 and I want to try to get in my game with my week 4 opponent. They agree to play me at Huzzah Hobbies on May 25th; you’re allowed to do that! But remember your opponent must agree with this as well!

Prizes – Depending on how many sign up. The idea is to have at least the 1st and 2nd of each bracket get a gift certificate to Huzzah Hobbies. Then the top 8 of the league will come into Huzzah Hobbies on July 11th for a 1 day 3 round tournament to fight for the NOVA Invitational invite!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Simple D / Stomp Change That Might Allow Wider Use and Less Bans

Kudos to the discussion on the prior post for getting the ole tinker going ...

The what if here could* (definitely not saying WOULD) lead to broader allowance of SH/Gargs, Knights, etc. This addresses big issues for negative reaction from players, such as Lynxes blasting you with D from across the board and Knights 6-stomping all over things way out of combat with them and the like.

Is your Ranged D weapon more than 12" from target? Treat any "6" as a 5.
Is your Melee D weapon or Stomp hitting a target you are not engaged with? Treat any "6" as a 5.

Ponder and Feedback.

Pros -
Maintains ability of "6" results on D and Stomp to mitigate concern regarding 2+ re-roll units without having to enact wholesale changes to Invisibility, Grimoire, Fortune, etc. (one change vs. many)

May allow for broader inclusion of peoples' "toys" in the form of Lords of War.

Prevents need to heavily modify / ban brand new units and future units with D (aside from Lords of War) if the Eldar Codex is any sign.

Cons -
It's a rules change
Some people don't want ANY D in the game at all

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Dealing with El-D-ar - Pre-Codex Thoughts

As should be expected, a lot of players are asking - even before the Codex releases - "What is NOVA going to do about the new Eldar?!"

The biggest concern is their mass access to Strength D on non-SH/Garg platforms.

First off, the Wraithknight.

This is now a Gargantuan Lord of War. Under NOVA's 40K GT army construction rules, these are not allowed.

So, with regard to the GT, at least unless we change the rule just to make an exception for Eldar (which seems an unlikely and unwise path to take), Wraithknights won't be hunky dory.

The real question applies to the large number of units choices across the codex who can select D otherwise.

Artillery - D cannon artillery
Hemlock Wraithfighters - D blast (at -1 on the chart)
Wraithguard - D shots (presumably at their 3-edition-long 12" range) or -1D templates

So what's to be done here and what's the import.

First off, on the Templates, we don't use Promethium relays ... ipso facto, people aren't going to torrenting D across the board from 32 point models.

Additionally, the honest truth about S-D at -1 on the chart is it is a LOT less powerful. 3+ to wound things means 1/3 of all hits fail outright, regardless of target T. Additionally, while they do cause d3 wounds, they never cause d6 or ignore invulnerable saves. Furthermore, the Hemlock's D blasts never ignore cover saves.

If you want to look at it in a couple of examples, some targets are badly hammered by these and some would actually be worse off if faced with much weaker weapons.

For example, Necrons obviously are hurt when their Decurion MSU units no longer have 3+ saves followed by 4+ reanimation ... especially so in the case of the Template weapon and its ability to simply ignore all of their saves on a 3+.

Vehicles are badly battered regardless due to the # of hull points inflicted by the "median" D impacts. That said, things like Knights are suddenly dependent on things like Adamantine Lance to even survive ... which is interesting.

Common "star" units like Khorne dogs, on the other hand, are not hurt very much at all (At least in comparison to other weapon options). For example, a S8 AP- template weapon inflicts more damage on a Khorne Dog, on average, than a SD AP2 template that is resolved at S4. Most people would have complained in the OPPOSITE direction (aka "it's too weak") if D-Scythes were made S8AP-.

If you run the numbers and compare as well the ability of Wraith units and the like to survive sustained shooting and/or find their way out of combat with even relatively weak units, you will start to see that the -1D hits are not nearly as game busting as the unmodified ones are.

So with NO codex, no ability to make firm decisions, and only initial thoughts, it certainly has come up in discussions to simply modify it so that any D weapon not carried by a Super Heavy or Gargantuan suffers -1 on the D chart. This actually nerfs them substantially against *most* targets while retaining their high potency against "single target" type items like Monsters and Vehicles.

Food for thought as we go through the next couple weeks awaiting a codex release and sufficient time to make smart decisions about what rulings to follow (if any).

One thing is true and needs to be stated - players do NOT like D as a general rule. They also don't like invulnerable units that are very difficult or near-impossible to kill (this applies to everything from jet-stars to certain entire decurion army builds). For some reason, the reaction to both Super Heavies and D in general at NOVA in those events which allowed them has been especially severe, and we're not the only ones to see that. If you look at the recent LVO poll, ranged D was especially decried by attendees who experienced it.

There's something about a game that takes your opponent completely out of the picture which is not very engaging (ipso facto: all the hate for watching someone roll a 6 and tell you to pick up your models with no recourse ... and all the hate for watching a single unit bounce all the attacks of your entire army with 0 casualties).

It bears reminding that no one has ever played Games Workshop's game at Tournaments "entirely by the book," from missions to points to the works. Even those who argue stridently for "pure" 40k will always caveat "well, except obviously you can't do Unbound" or "well, except obviously you can't do Forge World" or "well, except obviously you can't play totally unmodified book missions, you need to add points and stuffs!" We'll continue at NOVA to leverage community feedback and wise decision making toward *trying* to host the most fair, universally appealing tournament format possible/out there.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

ITC Points at NOVA Open

Just a quick PSA to all - the NOVA Open's GT and Invitational will award points for Frontline Gaming's ITC this year.

Please note, this does not impact the FAQ or Format, but it does mean all those West Coasters (and really anyone) looking to boost their score wherever possible will be able to do so at NOVA in 2015.